Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige has withdrawn his decision to run for President in the 2023 general elections.
Ngige has openly declared his withdrawal from the presidential race on Friday in a statement he signed.
There were also reports that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele has also withdrawn from the 2023 presidential race.
A source disclosed to Business Day that Emefiele has withdrawn from the presidential race and has conveyed his intention to continue as the CBN governor to Buhari.
In the statement he released on Friday, Ngige said his earlier declaration for President was due to pressure from his constituents, friends and associates.
“On Tuesday, 19th April 2022, I publicly declared my interest to contest for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, following the constitutional provision that precludes our amiable incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari from seeking re-election to the office, as he would have completed his two terms in office by 29th May 2023.
“The declaration was made in my home town, Alor, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
“My declaration was sequel to pressure on me from my constituents, political associates, friends and other well-meaning Nigerians, who felt I possess the necessary qualifications and experience for the job. Some of these supporters even taxed themselves to procure the Expression of Interest/ Nomination Forms of our Party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for me. The forms however are yet to be filled and submitted.”
The minister said he had met with Buhari and also consulted widely before arriving at the decision to withdraw from the race.
“As a result of this, I will not be participating in any of the internal party processes of the said election, starting with the primary.”
He said the decision was taken in the overall interest of the nation, adding that it would enable him concentrate on his job as minister.
Ngige said he has communicated his decision to the President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).